My little love!
Today is day one of 3rd grade for you, or as you've learned to say, 3rd class. Daddy and I drove you and your brother to school, mostly to walk him to his classroom in this new big school—like taking a little bird in our cupped hands and placing him in a spot where he can open his wings and take flight. He found a good friend from prep already there in his class, someone to push up against and wrestle with, letting out some of the anxiety that had been piling up in the last couple weeks. His teacher nodded for us to leave as it was now time for her to take over.
We walked you to your classroom up on the next floor, your fragile little hand holding onto mine. You just found out who your teacher would be this year, and it turned out to be different from whom you were hoping for. She’s too strict, you said, gulping a big one. Your classroom had only boys at this point, speaking loud Hindi to each other, picking their seats and turning the fans on. You plopped down on a seat, quietly, full of thoughts wondering what this year will bring, or maybe just this first day.
We had prayed for a different teacher, prayed for your best friend from 1st grade to be in the same class this year, prayed for one of your brother’s three best buddies to get in his class. None of it happened; I don’t know why. I was disappointed for you, asking God why we couldn’t have these little things, answers to our prayers, to grow your belief in Him, and maybe mine.
Daddy and I realise that you never asked to come here to this country, far from your extended family, in a huge, noisy, never-stopping city. You didn’t sign up to live for years in a culture so different from where you come from, where sometimes each day feels like a fight. You weren’t asked if you wanted to learn a new language, a new culture, in some sense a completely new way of life. We know you miss friends and family, grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles, and we can’t get on a 2-hour flight for you to spend the weekend with them.
Then again, you didn’t ask to stay in the U.S. either. You only just turned 5 when we moved here and that’s what 5-year-olds do, they go wherever their parents go. I hope you will always know that we didn’t take all of this lightly on your behalf - picking up roots and moving away, growing up in a third culture, belonging to many places but not anywhere fully. We knew that being open to our Father’s leading and making the choice of moving here would affect you in countless ways, baby. Of course we couldn’t know how exactly, we couldn’t really prepare for all of this life that’s happened since. But our prayer and our hope has always been this: that by seeing and experiencing our (very imperfect) dependence on Jesus, you would come to believe for yourself that He is a loving, faithful, powerful, caring God worthy of your trust. That you would see, feel, and taste His goodness on your own skin.
Some days I wish we lived in a beautiful, healthy, slow place and you could go to a wonderful school where classes are smaller, all teachers are gentle, and you would feel more at home. It may happen one day, and I’m sure it won’t be perfect. But for now, I promise that we will face every challenge together. We will ask for God’s protection, we will pray through every problem, and we will seek His guidance. We will listen to all your worries about math tests, and mean kids, and PT, and we will take them to His feet. Daddy and I know we can’t give you a perfect life anywhere. We also know that our city is not the easiest place to live. But more than anything we hope that as we keep facing each day together, no matter where we are, you will never doubt how much we love you. We hope, baby, that through all this beautiful, eclectic, crazy life you will grow to put your faith in the One who cares for you even more and is powerful to give you everlasting life in the place we truly belong.
Photo by Blaise Vonlanthen on Unsplash
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